Look around your home. Is your bedroom closet a haven for clothing cast-offs? Does your kitchen look like Gordon Ramsay went on a rampage? Have bills piled up in stacks that seem taller than the Egyptian pyramids?

If you answered “yes,” don’t get down on yourself. Your disorganized home doesn’t embody who you are, professional organizer Ellen Faye says.

Ellen Faye


“Being disorganized or having a struggle with it is in no way, shape or form a reflection who you are as a human being,” Faye, the new president of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), told The SpareFoot Blog.

“We know that being organized is a challenge for a lot of people, but it’s not who you are as a person,” said Faye, who helps clients in southern New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania. “I have some of the most amazing, tremendous human beings that I am blessed that I get to work with who just happen to not do well with organization.”

No Judgment

In fact, Faye said, if you decide to enlist help from a professional organizer to get your home in order, there’s not something wrong with you. “There’s actually something right with you,” she said.

Faye said she admires people who are willing to step up and seek assistance with organizing.

Faye emphasizes that a professional organizer won’t judge a client based on his or her circumstances. Rather, she said, the organizer will be supportive and will ask questions to help turn around the client’s situation.

“This is absolutely a quality-of-life issue,” Faye said.

Finding a Professional Organizer

So, if you’re committed to hiring a professional organizer to improve your quality of life, how do you go about doing it?

Faye recommends visiting the NAPO website and searching for professional organizers in your area. Then, you’ll want to look at an organizer’s skills, experience and certifications.

Faye noted that professional organizers who belong to NAPO are committed to the group’s ethics and educational standards, “as opposed to somebody who’s just trying to hang a shingle.”

Comfort Zone

Aside from checking out an organizer’s NAPO affiliation, Faye suggests looking for an organizer who’s a good fit, as the relationship between organizer and client “is a very personal interaction.”

“Everyone has a different temperament and personality,” she said, “so you want to find someone you’re comfortable with.”

As for how long you should use the services of a professional organizer, some clients might need a one-time consultation, while others might need six months’ worth of sessions or off-and-on sessions over an extended period, Faye said.

“As professionals, we want to understand your expectations,” she said.

‘Seize the Moment’

No matter how long you work with a professional organizer, Faye stresses that keeping things tidy requires regular maintenance. From time to time, some clients might need a “tune-up” from a professional organizer, she said.

When the professional organizer isn’t around, someone should “seize the moment” and take five minutes to organize a kitchen drawer, for instance, or even just a basket in that drawer.

“Don’t wait till you have a whole day to get organized. Do a little bit here and a little bit there,” Faye said. “Don’t let it get so out of hand that it takes two hours to reorganize it. Do it when it’ll only take you five minutes.”